I think I've blogged about this game before, but it's worth another quick post just in case. To play, each child needs a ten frame (you could use two to play with numbers up to 20 if you wanted). Just print and laminate a grid. I use a pocket die - I change up the numbers in there all the time as the year goes on. To start with, I have dot (jewel) patterns for 1, 2 and 3. At the moment, it's the numbers 3, 4 and 5. I also use numerals or number words depending on what we need to work on. Children take turns rolling the die, placing that number of jewels on their ten frame. My 'jewels' are from the garden section of a hardware store, they were about $2 for a big bag.
When their ten frame is full, kidlets trade their jewels in for some Pirate Booty to put in their treasure chest! Be prepared for elation when this happens! :) I use plastic coins and treasure chests from the party section of the dollar store. I laminated the treasure chests and have been using them for years.
The best part about this game is that as the kidlets are playing, they will be working on counting, number/number word recognition and ten frame skills. I leave them to play by themselves, and when I pop past to check on them I ask questions to get them thinking. Depending on what they need, I'll ask how many jewels are on their ten frame, how they see the number, how many they would have if they added 1 more, how many more to make 10, who has more/less/the same amount of jewels etc.
You can decide on a winner by seeing who has the most coins in their treasure chest, but I find that the sheer joy of collecting the treasure is enough fun!
There you have it - a cheap and cheerful game that I promise your little ones will be mad for. I'd love to know if you try it. :)